A Hijacking (2012)

Tobias Lindholm. 2012.  I don’t normally watch psychological thrillers largely because most that I have access to are Hollywood swill featuring artificially beautiful people artfully placed in artificially distressed situations in which they act artificially; that’s not entertainment, it’s industrial product. Thankfully the Europeans still know how to make movies and this one lives up to the promise. We have actors who can act who look like the type of character they are playing. We have outstanding editing, cutting between the horror of the hostages broiling in the equatorial heat and the glacial coolness of the executive in Denmark negotiating for their release (while reaching his own boiling point). And we have hubris by multiple parties—only European filmmakers can handle hubris so compassionately because they recognize it is part of the human condition (Hollywood hides from it or shuns it or punishes it). And the film is actually a nail biter: since it isn’t Tom Hanks or Brad Pitt or any other famous face, we actually don’t know who will make it out alive at the end. The dialogue is mostly English (the international language of hostage negotiation), and though the Danish is subtitled, very cleverly the Somali dialogue is not, which adds to the realism of the terror. Having a skinny wild-eyed boy waving an AK-47 in your face while screaming in a language you don’t comprehend…for me at least that cuts close to the bone.

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